Rock and Mineral Show

Members of the Midwest Mineralogical & Lapidary Society (MMLS) will hold their annual Gem and Mineral Show May 15-17 at the Southgate Civic Arena.

The MMLS is a non-profit club of local members -- including Taylor residents -- who share an interest in the many facets of gems, minerals and the lapidary arts, such as silver smithing, beading, fossils and mineral collecting.

Over the three days, the show will highlight the many aspects of the hobby. On Friday morning and afternoon before the formal start of the show, students on field trips with their teachers from local school districts will attend. As part of their free admission they can receive free samples of up to a dozen minerals, study the multiple exhibit cases highlighting the different facets of the hobby, participate in student activities and watch artisans demonstrate their crafts. Many teachers, in fact, make up lists of questions for their students based on the multiple displays, and it's not uncommon for students to approach different club members looking for answers to questions on minerals, fossils or related subjects.   

After the students visit, the show begins and will continue through Sunday, May 17. In addition to the features listed above, 18 unique dealer and artist vendors from Michigan and other states will display their products for those visiting the show. Vendors this year will have such items as finished jewelry, gem trees, amber, beads and beading supplies, minerals for collection and display, lapidary and jewelry making equipment and fossils with a wide assortment of items in all price ranges and tastes.

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets of the Rock and Gem show is the potential savings on high-quality, professionally made jewelry and gem stone-related items at great prices. Items range from a ring to a pendant, from a sapphire to a topaz, or from a fossil millions of years old to a newly made gemstone treasure. Whether you need a graduation, birthday or anniversary gift or an interesting collectible, this show is where it's at for all levels of budget -- a fact of interest to us all given today's economy.

In addition to the Rock and Gem Show, the MMLS has many areas of interests to new members. The club, which formed in the late 1950s and has held Rock and Gems shows since the mid-1970s, meets monthly at the Southgate Arena and presents programs on various subjects. Recent topics have included gem collecting, scrimshaw, mining and various gem stones.

In addition, the club has an active beading and wire wrapping group and is in the process of planning its upcoming trips, club mineral swaps and auctions. In addition to these activities, the club actively provides scholarship support of students in the geological field of studies and supports local geological displays and an educational center.  

Hours of the Rock and Gem show are 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 15; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 16; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 17. The Southgate Arena is located at 14700 Reaume Parkway in Southgate (off Dix-Toledo Road between Eureka and Northline roads). Admission is $4, $3 for seniors and $1 for teen-agers. Admission is free for children 12 and under.

For more information about n the Gem and Mineral Show or about the MMLS, contact society President Rich Williams of Taylor at (734) 374-2279 or at Richinmich53@aol.com.